Bouncing my way back from injury is my biggest victory: Francisco Salin

Francisco Salin, a name which has been sending shivers down defenders’ spine all season long, has just stepped it up to an altogether new level in the past few weeks, racking up nine goals in the last five games for Mumbai Customs which includes two hat-tricks.

Francisco’s evolution has left opposition rear-guards feeling the heat as they try finding ways to stop the little assassin in Customs’ ranks. With over ten goals scored in this season’s Elite Division, Francisco Salin is attracting plenty of attention not just from the media but also from watchful footballing eyes around the city.

It is hard to believe, that the same player who is now scoring for fun and has taken Mumbai’s premier football league by a storm, was not so long ago struggling with an injury which somewhat threatened to put his career to bed.

But Salin has shown great character from bouncing back from that setback which makes the success he is enjoying now a lot sweeter.

Speaking to Football Counter on the back of his goal-clad week, Francisco Salin has been highlighting the cohesion in his Customs side and his style of preparation for a game, while also discussing his future and his recovery from an injury which wiped off the smile off his face.

1. You have scored nine goals in the last five games. What have you been eating?

A: Well it’s not about what I eat, but a lot about teamwork really. My teammates have been feeding me with some really nice passes and finishing it from there is my duty which I have been doing and that’s why the goals have been coming.

2. You have now built yourself a reputation. So how difficult it is when opponent coaches and players identify you as a main threat and try to nullify you?

A: I fully prepare for the game. I know the opposition tries to stop me but I prepare myself to the fullest and constantly talk to myself. I along with my coach prepare in advance as to how I should go about cracking the opposition defence. Now-a-days, many coaches load me with two defenders, so my coach switches around and puts me on the right just to shuffle up the defence and that helps me to breakthrough and do my job.

3. It’s even more amazing to see that you have scored nine goals in the last five games, despite playing every two-three days in such a heat. How have you managed to keep yourself fresh?

A: The heat makes it difficult, but many of my senior players have helped me in dealing with it. The suggested me to take proper rest and maintain a good intake of food. The water breaks in the middle of each half have been really helpful to get us re-energized and I must thank WIFA (Western India Football Association) for having these breaks to help the game.

4. Have you got any offers from bigger clubs and what are your plans for the future?

A: As of now I don’t have any offers on the table, but I am looking to secure a permanent job in Customs for which I have been struggling a few years, but hopefully now after seeing me work hard and deliver results, I will be offered one. As for other offers, it usually happens at the end of the season, so if by God’s grace I get any good offers, I will consider it.

5. You have been all over the newspapers and websites after scoring these hat-tricks. How does your family feel about it?

A: My family is very proud of me. Especially after my injury, many people put me down by saying that I won’t be able to comeback. But I motivated myself a lot to get back to where I am today. It was a tough phase in my life and seeing me injured had made my mother lose her smile. But slowly and gradually seeing me work hard and now see my name in the newspaper I have managed to get it back on her face. Now she can proudly walk out and say that this is my son and he has proved everyone wrong.

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